The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York

This retrospective of the work of the Anglo-Irish designer Eileen Gray opened in February 1980, four years after her death. An essential modernist, Gray had often been left out of design histories in spite of her extraordinary career, which ranged from experiments in furniture to groundbreaking architecture. One of her greatest achievements in the latter field was E-1027, a late 1920s seaside house on the French Riviera that was, as the press release for the exhibition noted, “one of the first truly radical modern buildings in France.” Nevertheless, as the years passed, Gray’s contribution to the field was marginalized and her legacy minimized within the male-dominated world of architecture and design—something this exhibition sought to challenge. The installation comprised numerous examples of her furniture design, with photographs and drawings providing an overview of her work in architecture.

Installation views

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